Nissan NPT-90

Zaheer August 18, 2011 0


In 1990, the Japanese automaker Nissan Motors received a racing car, called the Nissan NPT-90 from Nissan Performance Technology Incorporated (NPTI), previously popular as Electramotive Engineering. The Nissan NPT-90 was introduced as a replacement vehicle for the renowned GTP ZX-Turbo that had won the IMSA GT Championship in 1989. The NPT-90 won the titles for Nissan in 1990 and 1992 and was discontinued by Nissan Motors at the end of 1992 season.

The vehicle was officially given the name NPT-90, but it raced with GTP ZX-Turbo name painted on it in many championships.  By doing so, Nissan was trying to keep the ZX name alive for its Nissan 300ZX road car.

Development

GTP ZX-Turbo remained in production for about five years and for these five years Nissan had done a remarkable work on it. However, later Nissan realized the changing scenario of the market and the approaching competition from its competitors Toyota and Jaguar. Nissan desperately felt the need of a new car so as to defend their championship titles. Nissan Motors directed the NPTI, Nissan’s North American motorsports division to build an entirely new vehicle, discarding the original Lola-based GTP ZX-Turbo chassis. Dropping the angular looks of the previous vehicle, the new car was designed with rounded, narrower cockpit. Smaller duct work was introduced at the nose of the vehicle dropping the larger intakes. The large vertical snorkels were placed on the sides of the vehicle for turbocharger.

In the new vehicle, Nissan opted to use the same VG30 3.0-L turbocharged V6 engine that had already been used in the GTP ZX-Turbo, but with certain modifications and additions to enhance the power, such as a four-valve head in place of two-valve head. In 1992, Nissan reduced the engine displacement of VG30s to 2.5-L for the NPT-91.

Throughout its whole life, NPT-90 was upgraded and improved at regular intervals. In the middle of 1991 season, Nissan rebadged the car as NPT-91. In 1992, the vehicle received further upgrades and modifications. The vehicle was remained in production from NPT-91A to NPT-91D designations.

Racing History

1990

During the 1990 season, the NPT-90 chassis was under construction, so NPTI went with GTP ZX-Turbo in 1990 season. Halfway through the season, the first chassis was completed and launched at Topeka finishing at number eight, way behind the second place GTP ZX-Turbo. Initially, it had some engine problems which were immediately rectified and the car came with its full potential at the Mid-Ohio followed by its second win at Watkins Glen. With the completion of second chassis, it completely took over the GTP ZX-Turbo.

1991

Nissan continued with their practice of skipping endurance 24 Hour of Daytona because of their more sprint-oriented design. In the 12 Hours of Sebring, Nissan was able to won top two spots. In the shorter events, however, the Jaguar pace began to outclass the Nissan with their three straight victories.

 

Nissan failed to score another victory with its upgraded NPT-91 for the rest of the season, though it was running three cars at the same time.

1992

For the 1992 season, the NPT-91 made a successful debut in Miami by securing a top position in race. Despite its Miami win, the Nissan could not be able to won the third consecutive Sebring title as it was beaten by Toyota that made a remarkable win over Nissan by five laps. NPT-91 failed to perform well for rest of the season as it endured heavy accidents and several mechanical issues.

 

A twin-turbocharged C-spec NPT-91 was also introduced later but this too failed to make any impression and let the Nissan team struggle.

1993

In 1993, Nissan decided to build a new replacement vehicle for the NPT-90 series. Finally, Nissan started working on dumped P35 project so as to modify it according to the IMSA’s GTP rules. Unluckily, in 1994, IMSA declared their intents to cease the GTP class, forcing Nissan once again to stop their new project. At last, Nissan preferred to focus on the production of 240SX and 300ZX.

Gianpiero Moretti of the Momo Company bought the original specification NPT-90 from Nissan so that they can use it in 1993 season. According to company, car really had some potential as it stood second at the 12 Hour of Sebring and third at Mid-Ohio. The efforts of Momo Company took the Nissan at third place in constructor championship. The NPT-90 series was ceased with the cessation of GTP class.

 

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